tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC February 3, 2016 12:37am-1:37am EST
have a great night. i hope to see you tomorrow, bye-bye, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] [ cheers and applause ] >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- eva longoria -- from "dirty grandpa" actor/comedian jason mantzoukas -- author sunil yapa -- featuring the 8g band with glenn kotche. [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: good evening, everybody. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how is everybody doing tonight? [ cheers and applause ] excellent to hear.
news. 84-year-old media mogul rupert murdoch this week proposed to 59-year-old former model jerry hall. hall said yes because she didn't feel like standing in line for powerball tickets. [ laughter ] state of the union address, house speaker paul ryan accused traps for republicans. what?" [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] a noted republican strategist published a new article for cnn, claiming that the candidates having the most fun on the campaign trail usually fare the best in elections. well, the candidates having the least fun try to hide it but putting an exclamation point at the end of their logo. [ laughter ] yeah, this is fun, right?
president here. despite releasing his mother's birth certificate, ted cruz is still fielding questions about his eligibility for president with donald trump saying yesterday that it is not a settled matter. there was even a response from president obama. [ laughter ] yeah, love it. i love that this is happening to somebody else. vice president joe biden said this morning that donald trump is running a divisive campaign, but most trump supporters are okay with division, provided it's not long division. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] then it gets a little tricky. according to a new study by the cdc, women are more likely than men to experiment with same-sex partners. said men, what channel is cdc? i've got to check this out. [ laughter ] [ applause ] buffalo bills head coach rex ryan has announced that he has hired his twin brother
or did he? [ laughter ] the royal bank of scotland has issued a statement warning people 2016 is poised to be a, quote, "cataclysmic year for financial markets." though it may be worse just to hear a scottish guy say the word cataclysmic. [ laughter ] it's cataclysmic. "sesame street" this coming weekend is moving from pbs to hbo. and producers have announced changes to the show including elmo living in a brownstone, oscar the grouch living in a recycling bin, and big bird living a twisted lie. [ laughter ] [ applause ] and finally, mcdonald's is trying out a new concept restaurant in hong kong, called "mcdonald's next," which features a 19-item salad bar including quinoa. i'm sure to have customers
you guys, we have a great show for you tonight! [ cheers and applause ] great show. from nbc's new series "telenovela" eva longoria is here! [ cheers and applause ] from the new film, "dirty grandpa," a very funny guy and a good friend of mine, jason mantzoukas stops by the show. [ cheers and applause ] and he is the author of the new book, "your heart is a muscle the size of a fist," author sunil yapa is with us tonight. [ cheers and applause ] looking forward to talking to him, as well. before we get to that, a group of white nationalists has begun urging voters in iowa to support donald trump for president, providing yet another example of the degree to which trump's candidacy has appealed to racists. but when it comes to politicians making racist comments, it's not just trump. for me on this, it's time for "a closer look." [ applause ] >> seth: now, if you've been
time for white people. [ laughter ] everything has gluten. "mad men" ended. and there are 7-year-old children in this country who have never even known a white president. [ laughter ] but there is hope for this neglected underclass in the candidacy of donald trump. and, in fact, this weekend a number of registered voters in iowa received this robocall from a white nationalist super pac claiming to support trump. >> i'm jared taylor with american renaissance. i urge you to vote for donald trump, because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for america. we don't need muslims. we need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. vote trump! >> seth: so basically, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled canadians? [ laughter ] also, you have to give it up for white supremacists. they always give themselves nice-sounding names like, "american renaissance." you can never tell if they're a hate group or an in-flight
[ laughter ] jared taylor, the man behind the call, explained in an interview today why he thought trump's message was resonating with voters saying, quote, "i think that most official republicans have no idea how betrayed ordinary white people feel by their country being turned into something else. ordinary white folks are sick of having to press one for spanish." wait, have you been pressing one for spanish this whole time? because it's almost always press one for english and press two for spanish. that certainly would explain why you're so angry. [ laughter ] [ speaking in spanish ] now trump has no official affiliation with the super pac, but jared taylor isn't the only well-known white supremacist who is pro trump. last year former kkk leader david duke said that he liked what trump had to say, but even he thought some of it was a little extreme. duke said of trump quote, "i think he's head and shoulders above the rest. i don't agree with everything he says. he speaks a lot more radically
that's david duke, basically saying, "me, i'm kkk. trump is like kkkkk." okay? [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] despite this, trump and his that trump's campaign has done nothing to inspire white supremacists. i mean, seriously, where could this group possibly be getting the idea that there is such a thing as bad immigrants and good immigrants and that we should only accept the good ones? >> the first thing we do is get the bad ones out. >> we have a lot of bad dudes as i said, you have a lot of really bad people here. i think you should let them come back. if they're very good people, you let them come back legally. >> seth: and if anyone should be the judge of who is a really good person, it's donald trump. just look how trump reacted last week when a protester at his rally in vermont was being ejected into the freezing cold weather outside. >> get him out of here. don't give him his coat. don't give him his coat. keep his coat. confiscate his coat. you know, it's about 10 degrees
no, you can keep his coat. tell him we'll send it to him in a couple of weeks. >> seth: and take his pants! [ laughter ] but let him keep his shoes, because it's always funny when someone's wearing shoes with no pants. [ laughter ] clearly there is something about trump's rhetoric that appeals to racial resentment and division. but this is an important point. it's not just trump. the republican party's race problems extend well beyond him. just look at these comments. maine governor paul lepage, talking about drug traffickers in his state. >> traffickers. these aren't people who take drugs. they guys of the name, d-money, smoothie, shifty, these type of guys that come from connecticut, new york. they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. >> seth: d-money, smoothie and shifty. [ laughter ] are they from new york or the '90s? [ laughter ] afterward, le page's spokesperson insisted that the
about race. race is irrelevant. which only makes sense, if you don't watch the next part of that same video. >> incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave. which is a real sad thing. because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road. >> seth: i mean, that does make sense. there's nothing young, white girls love more than smoothies. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] you see the draw. lepage's comments, of course, attracted widespread condemnation. but in a press conference the next day, lepage only offered a half hearted apology and tried to explain his comments by saying like this. >> i was going impromptu and my brain didn't catch up with my mouth. >> seth: i'm not sure your brain was trying to catch up with your mouth at all. i'm pretty sure it was saying, "you go on without me, you'll be fine. don't say anything about young white girls. ah, you can't hear me." this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ]
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you know our first guest from her eight-season run on the hit tv show "desperate housewives." now you can see her in the new nbc series "telenovela," which airs monday nights at 8:30. let's take a look. >> how could the cameraman get a nickname like fat eddie if he doesn't have a secret stash of food laying around? >> and i think there's a generator located -- >> we got 100 people starving back there. >> eight. your math is off. >> without a.c. it's only gonna get hotter. >> well excuse me for being dramatic during a natural disaster! >> i think we really need -- >> oh, my gosh, gael. can you stop talking? you're getting real yippy. yip yip yip yip yip! >> okay, okay, i think we're all a little hot and hungry -- >> look, i'm the one who knows how to get us through this storm. i went through the training session and i'm the only one who knows where they keep all the cones. >> the only reason you're safety captain is because no one else wanted to be. >> well, i'm still the one with the badge. [ gasps ] >> is this shirt weak or is my arm very, very strong? >> seth: please welcome back to
>> seth: how are you? >> seth: how are you? >> hi! i'm good. >> seth: it's great to have you back. first of all, congratulations. you just got engaged. >> yes, i did. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: fantastic. >> thank you. >> seth: now, did the proposal -- were you prepared for it? did it catch you off guard, surprised? >> no, i was totally surprised. >> seth: how were you surprised? we were in dubai. >> seth: okay. >> yeah, and went to one of those desert safaris. safari. lunch. >> seth: okay. [ light laughter ] and so when you started on the something's up? god!" i was snapchatting it all. i would not have snapchatted it proposal. but i was like, "we're here in the desert!" and then there was champagne. i'm like, "there's champagne!" [ laughter ] and then i was like, "and there's roses -- oh, my god!"
i should probably put the phone down. yeah. >> seth: so you completely turned over this incredibly intimate moment to anybody who was on social media. >> yeah, at the time. but it disappeared in 24 hours, so. >> seth: well, there you go. that's true. nobody remembered. >> nobody remembered. >> seth: except for now that it'll be on tv forever. [ light laughter ] so, and then you went from dubai to india? was that always the plan? >> yeah, we went to india over christmas holidays. it was amazing. >> seth: had you ever been there before? >> no, that was my first time. >> seth: and you -- did you go on safari there as well? >> yes, there's a -- there's a tiger reserve in ranthambore, so they're trying to help the -- the tigers from becoming extinct. because they used to hunt them there. and it was great. we went on the safari, and they usually schedule, like, a couple safaris because the tigers are nocturnal so -- >> seth: right. >> you usually don't see them during the day. >> seth: gotcha. >> and we went on this, you know, safari, and they're like, "well, just be prepared, you probably won't see them the first time." and i was like, "there's one!" and we saw three. and then we were like, "well, lets it a day." it was like, in an hour. and even the guide was like, "this has never happened." [ light laughter ]
i don't know if it's true -- but he's like, "obama came and the tigers were hiding, they were not there." [ laughter ] >> seth: wow. >> like even they didn't see tigers. and i'm like, "i saw three." >> seth: they're -- tigers are notorious republicans. [ laughter ] they don't -- they always -- it's true. not a lot of people know that. >> yeah. >> seth: but yeah. >> yeah, i should have known. >> seth: so "telenovela." congratulations. >> thank you! >> seth: great reviews, great ratings. and now you originally -- you're a producer on the show. >> yeah. >> seth: your plan was not originally to be in it. >> no, no. >> seth: what changed your mind? >> well, you know, i was on the greatest show in the last decade called "desperate housewives." >> seth: you were. [ cheers and applause ] >> no, so i was like, "i'm not going back to tv." i mean, it unless it's something really, really, really good. and i had read stuff, and i developed stuff as a producer, but when the script came in, we had these amazing writers, jess goldstein and chrissy pietrosh, and they just knocked it out of the park. i had this, like, tiny idea in my head and they were like, "we want to write that." and they came back and it was this world that was so funny, and ana sofia, the character i play is so great. there is a lot of physical
so i play the star of a spanish spanish. [ laughter ] yeah. so that's in itself difficult, which is -- so she's like a fish out of water. and it's so funny. you don't need to know what "telenovela" is. it's like a workplace comedy. office and these characters would be amazing. >> seth: and was it your dream, this is true -- it was your dream when you first started as an actor to become a soap opera star? >> a soap actress, yeah. i was on "young and the restless" for three years. >> seth: and was that -- was that because it was a big deal in your family, soap operas? >> it was a super big deal in my family. like, when i got "young" -- when hospital," my mom thought i won an oscar. she was like, "you made it, you [ laughter ] i was like, "you're my mom." first line on "general hospital"? you probably don't. >> no, no. no, i was like, um -- yeah, i think it was a word. might have been a grunt. yeah, i remember. but "young and the restless," i >> seth: yeah. how many years did you say? >> i was on it for three years. >> seth: a lot of crazy stuff happens in three years in soap operas.
marc cherry says the difference between daytime soaps and nighttime soaps is in the daytime the men are the divas. >> seth: yeah. >> yeah. the men were crazy. >> seth: oh, so the actors you worked with in soaps were divas? >> not the ones i worked with. >> seth: gotcha. >> 'cause i only worked with a couple, but on our show -- we had 40 cast members. >> seth: right. >> big show. >> seth: so how did men -- how are men divas on set? >> one time i was in a scene with a guy, and he had to say, like, "where you going?" and my line was, "i'm not going anywhere." >> seth: that was really good. >> right? or whatever. whatever his words -- >> seth: real quick, that was really good. >> thank you. and his words -- and he goes -- they're like, "and action," or "three, two, one." whatever they do. and he goes, "what are you doing?" i said, "i'm not going -- anywhere." like, i was like, "oh, now i --" "cut! eva!" and i was like, "no, he didn't -- are you going to say 'going?' because i have to say 'going.'" and he's like, "yeah, yeah, yeah." and they're lie, "action!" and he's like, "what's up?" [ laughter ] and i was like -- and so i worked with it and i was like, "nothing's -- up." [ laughter ] i was like, "okay, i can play this." and they're like, "cut, eva!"
he!" [ laughter ] i mean, like we always -- like, the men could do no wrong. >> seth: and now, is one of your co-stars on the show -- has a background in telenovelas, yes? >> yeah, yes. jencarlos canela. he plays the lead. xavier, my ex-husband on the and we have to work together. >> seth: and has he given you telenovla you've been able to >> oh, my gosh, yes. because he was on novelas. yeah, yeah. not on his show, but he told me there was a woman in venezuela or something who was the lead of a show and her assistant was poisoning her slowly, like daily. "here's your coffee." >> seth: but wait -- [ laughter ] >> yeah. in life. >> seth: this is in life? not in a soap opera? >> yes, and then there was a trial. and then everybody was following the trial. >> seth: why didn't they just [ laughter ] >> yeah, yeah, yeah. yeah. some things we write in "nobody's going to believe us. this is a true story." >> seth: i feel like your defense could be, if you spent too much time on a soap opera set, you would just go crazy and think it's like a totally normal [ laughter ] >> yeah. >> seth: yeah, exactly. [ laughter ] soap operaitis.
well, congratulations. >> thank you. >> seth: it's so exciting. and it's always great to have you back on the show. >> thank you. >> seth: give it up for eva longoria, everybody. "telenovela" airs monday nights at 8:30 on nbc. we'll be right back with more "late night." [ cheers and applause ] what happens when lobster gets grilled, baked, and paired with even more lobster? you get hungry. red lobster's lobsterfest is back with the largest variety of lobster dishes of the year. like new dueling lobster tails with one tail stuffed with crab, and the other with langostino lobster mac-and-cheese, it's a party on a plate! and you know every bite of 'lobster lover's dream' lives up to its name. hey, eating is believing. so stop dreaming and start eating. adventures from $599, plus up to $300 to spend at sea. come seek the royal caribbean.
as your best friend, you having to be like, "you know what, man, i'm getting married." >> seth: yeah. >> so you're out. [ laughter ] she's in. >> seth: you're out. >> you're out, she's in. >> seth: you took it well. >> yeah. i -- did not. i cried a lot. [ laughter ] i freaked out. i like, cried. i pooped my pants. [ laughter ] i peed my pants. >> seth: i contend to this day you had to poop your pants before i told you and you used that as an excuse. >> you know what, it turned out to be a great cover. [ laughter ] people were really cool with it. because they -- from an emotional point. >> seth: yeah, they were like "oh, my god, he's so upset, he pooped his pants." >> ugh, again. >> seth: from that clip -- from that very funny clip from your film -- >> yes, my film. >> seth: your film. >> my film. >> seth: and it's so nice -- >> i mean, yes, robert de niro and zac efron are in it, but it is -- my film. [ laughter ] >> seth: they're both -- yeah. it's very clear from the clip, you have almost all of the lines in the clip. >> right? based on that, you would think i say all of the lines in the movie. [ laughter ] which i do. if you want to come see the movie with me, sit next to me,
[ light laughter ] >> seth: now you kind of -- don't take this the wrong way, but i feel like you're a little there. [ laughter ] >> hang on a second. three lone dreadlocks that my character has on the back of his head? >> seth: three lone dreadlocks. >> just three dreadlocks, left over from something really messed up in his life. >> seth: so, but you -- >> seth: over the course of your career, you've played a lot of these characters. so i would like to read your projects. >> oh, boy. >> seth: and i want you to tell me whether or not you played a scumbag or an almost normal person. >> i love -- even that there is a qualifier for "normal person." >> seth: yeah. >> an almost normal person. >> seth: yeah. >> let's do it. >> seth: the television show "community." >> okay. scumbag. i played a real scumbag, like, community theatre director who treats ken jeong really poorly. >> seth: okay. >> he's a real scumbag, that guy. >> seth: "parks and rec." >> "parks and rec." dennis feinstein. absolute scumbag.
like, perfume mogul in pawnee, of -- like, just garbage. awful. >> seth: "the league." >> "the league" is like the "er" scumbag. rafi from "the league" is a true untethered monster. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] really bad guy. >> and arguably the character that i'm most well-known for and which leads most people to believe upon meeting me that they are meeting, like, someone who is -- like genuinely committed war crimes. [ laughter ] >> seth: what about the "kroll show"? >> "kroll show." like, a number of scumbags. [ light laughter ] i played a number of scumbags. i played a number of scumbags on that show. >> seth: because it was a sketch show, so you did -- >> yes, i played multiple characters. >> seth: "broad city?" >> "broad city." scumbag. [ laughter ] ooh, me and matt jones played djs -- already scumbags. [ laughter ] >> seth: right. >> right? instantly, boom. i say "deejays" at a rooftop party and you guys are like, "scumbags." [ laughter ] but here's the twist. the deejays are trying to get the girls to have a foursome. [ laughter ]
>> scumbag. >> seth: i'm feeling confident about this. what about new film this year, "the night before"? >> "night before." okay, okay, here's the thing. i play a very drunk -- i'm in only one scene in this movie. i play a very drunk man dressed as santa claus. >> seth: uh-huh. >> who is pissing against the wall in the middle of the night and who beats up joe gordon-levitt. now, i am also a third grade teacher in the movie. so i would posit that i am less a scumbag, more a piece of [ belep ]. >> seth: oh, wow. [ laughter ] so you're -- this is range, now. >> i think there's a category beyond scumbag that is really just piece of [ bleep ]. >> seth: okay. "transparent." a wonderful new show on amazon. >> beautiful show. love everybody on "transparent." and it is an amazing opportunity they gave me to come in. i play a pretty good guy. i love this too. everybody that tweets about "transparent" is like, "hey, i can't believe jason mantzoukas is on 'transparent,' and he's pretty normal." [ light laughter ] except that i am a drug dealer. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay. so that's like sort of your pinnacle. >> that's my rap.
he's nice to sarah on the show. he's a nice guy. even though he is a drug dealer." >> seth: well, i want to talk to you about this. because you have one of my favorite podcasts. >> oh, yes. >> seth: you host a podcast called "how did this get made." >> i do, with paul scheer and june diane raphael, yes. >> seth: and explain real quick. this is about -- you guys just go deep on how certain movies got made. >> yeah. basically, it started when we all watched the movie "wall street 2: money never sleeps." >> seth: yep. >> and afterwards had a conversation at a party where we were like, "that was untethered insanity, right?" [ light laughter ] like, top to bottom, that made no sense and was cuckoo bananas. and we talked about it for like, an hour. and at the end, i was like, "we should just do this all of the time for crappy movies." that's what we do on the show. so we all watch a movie and then get around a table full of microphones or a live audience like this and we just talk about what the [ bleep ] just happened in this movie? [ laughter ] why did this -- and a lot of times, to be fair, nicolas cage is in the movie. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay.
[ cheers and applause ] i love that that's the applause break. >> seth: yeah. and everybody is like, "i can get on board for that." lll >> seth: have you -- obviously you try to pick movies that the consensus would say that movie is crazy, how did that get made? >> we just have done the movie "kazaam" where shaquille o'neal plays a genie. >> seth: yes. that's a good "how did that get made." >> yeah. >> seth: but have you now -- is it true that you've stumbled upon movies that some of your listeners have defended? >> oh, that's what's really fascinating, because we will all decide, like, "oh, we have to do this movie. it's really obvious." but then people will revolt. especially if it meant something to them as a kid. like we did the movie "spice world" with the spice girls. [ light laughter ] in which baby spice -- apropos of nothing, makes out with an alien. [ laughter ] a spaceship lands, a little alien comes out and baby spice kisses the alien on the mouth!
it's bonkers. and people were like, "this is my favorite movie! [ laughter ] this movie means so much to me. how -- i was with you up until now, 'how did this get made.' but this is too far!" people freaked out. >> seth: now, do you-- have you now -- has that caused you to look inward and say, "hey, maybe there's a movie i liked as a kid that is actually terrible"? >> there are a couple of them. we've done one recently that i contended was a great movie, still think is a great movie, starring nicolas cage. it is called "face-off." >> seth: "face-off." [ laughter and applause ] >> this is a great movie. >> seth: i don't think i have your back on this. >> don't worry about it. here's one that i think we're gonna do soon because now we're kind of fascinated by re -- re -- revisiting movies that we liked as kids. i loved the movie -- and this is going to go weird i think for everybody. the matthew broderick, rutger hauer, young michelle pfeiffer movie known as "ladyhawke." >> seth: "ladyhawke." i saw "ladyhawke" in the theaters. >> same. >> seth: yeah. >> fell, like, in passionate love with michelle pfeiffer.
"double trouble" twins. >> seth: oh, but those were -- so that was what your -- >> i bet the audience has no idea who we're talking about. [ laughter ] >> seth: is this post-"ferris bueller" broderick? i feel like -- >> i don't know if -- it may be. >> seth: yeah, now i can't remember. because i feel like i went in with expectations maybe, because of "bueller." but now, explain the plot real quick of "ladyhawke." because it's -- >> a totally normal movie in which a witch has put a curse on rutger hauer and michelle pfeiffer, who are in love. so that during the day, she is a hawk. and he is rutger hauer. and at night, she is michelle pfeiffer, and he is a wolf. [ laughter ] and it's so romantic! and matthew broderick is the thief who brings them together and figures it all out. and it's set in, like, medieval times, and has a 100% synth score. >> seth: yeah, it's super synthy. >> it is very jarring, the juxtaposition between the music choices and the movie. it makes absolutely no sense. >> seth: it's also really great
you think could be anything -- >> yep. >> seth: -- is so literal. >> yep. [ laughter ] yes. >> seth: why is it called "ladyhawke?" oh, there's a lady and a -- >> and she's a hawk. [ laughter ] we thought people would get it. it used to be called "ladyhawke, man wolf and the begger boy." [ laughter ] what a mess. >> seth: well, please defend it. >> i will. >> seth: i will listen to that, and please defend it. >> you should come on and be the guest for that episode. >> seth: i would love that. >> done. >> seth: i'm there. >> next time we do a live show here, it's you. >> seth: that's great. thank you so much for being here. congrats on the movie. >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: you are not a scumbag. you are my best friend. >> i love you, buddy. >> seth: jason mantzoukas, everybody. "dirty grandpa" is in the theaters january 22nd. we'll be right back with more "late night." [ cheers and applause ] points, points, our points. there has got to be a way to redeem our hotel points. i just want to take a vacation. this seems crazy. oh really? tell us something we don't know, captain obvious. ok. with hotels.com,
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. our next guest is a very talented author whose debut novel, "your heart is a muscle the size of a fist," hits bookstores today. please welcome to the show, sunil yapa! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: i'm so happy to have you here. >> oh, it's a thrill to be here. >> seth: congratulations on the book. it's fantastic. >> thank you. >> seth: i want to give some people here the background on it. it's about -- it takes place multiple characters over the course of a day in the 1999 wto protest in seattle. for those who don't remember that, give us a little bit of background. >> okay, so it's november '99, a month from the millennium, everyone is freaking about y2k. the banks are going to crash, the country's going to crash. and they decide to have the biggest economic meeting in the
they have 135 countries, they invite them to seattle. president clinton is going to be there, the kofi annan is going to be there. and they have these enormous meetings. 60,000 protesters showed up to protest it and they've only scheduled about 900 cops. so you can imagine what happened. they had shut down the protests -- shut down the meetings within by noon on the second day. >> seth: now, you worked there, but you were aware of it at the time. >> that's right. yeah, i grew up, my dad is a marxist professor of geography. >> seth: okay. >> so i grew up in that milieu. my bedtime stories were about global economic development. [ light laughter ] >> seth: did you fall asleep fast or never? >> right away, right away. >> seth: i feel like -- you go right to bed or lay up, what are we doing, why are we chasing this dollar? [ laughter ] >> instead of "monopoly," we had "capital," which is i think a socialist board game. no one understood the rules. >> seth: really? there's a socialist board game? >> i'm pretty sure. it was up in the attic. no one played it. no one knew the rules. >> seth: i think when you buy capital, the first thing it says in the instructions is "put this in the attic." [ laughter ]
>> seth: you have dice rolling everywhere. >> right, yeah. >> seth: so your dad was very much of this idea. >> right. so i grew up knowing a lot about it. i was in college when the protests happened in '99. and i had already been arrested when i was 17 for something -- for some of my illegal habits. >> seth: okay, well don't just blow by that. [ laughter ] >> they're legal now. >> seth: oh, they're legal now. >> in the state of washington. >> seth: i follow. >> okay. [ light laughter ] so i already spent a night in jail and it wasn't an experience i wanted to repeat. and one of the strategies they used at the protest was clog the jails. and i thought, i don't really want to be a clogger. >> seth: right, yeah. that's nice, so you basically said best of luck to you guys, take down capitalism, i'm sitting this one out. >> total coward, total coward. it helped in the book to be honest because i really admired the characters i was writing about, because i said, what courage it takes to sit in the streets and be willing take tear gas for people you care about three continents away.
father is from sri lanka. >> that's right. tonight? >> they are, that's right. them? hey guys. [ cheers and applause ] >> so my dad is from sri lanka. my dad's from sri lanka and he's the one i think who taught me about story-telling. so it's not fact checked, this story. so my dad came from sri lanka in 1964 on the same plane as the beatles. he flew from london to new york and he says he heard a little party going on up front, but he didn't really know what's happening. and this is the days when you would -- it's not jetway, there's a staircase out to the runway, right? >> seth: sure. >> he comes to the top of the staircase and there's a crowd and he says to the lady, wow, they treat foreign students here so well! [ laughter ] >> seth: that is not true. >> that is true. first -- >> seth: is it true? sir, is it true? >> it is true. >> seth: okay. [ laughter ] i believe him. so you know as a writer, you went through -- and this really broke my heart when i heard
you wrote a first draft of this book, 600 pages -- >> 604. >> seth: and you lost it. >> yeah. yeah. >> seth: you had it -- explain how you lose -- i mean, first of all -- yeah. >> i mean, how -- really, explain it to me. it's crazy. so i think i'm probably the last person this will ever happen to in the digital age, right? >> seth: yeah. >> so i was living in chili, and i didn't have any internet. so no cloud. i didn't have a printer. and my security measure was to hide my laptop in the oven, put it in a baking tray and slide it in there. >> seth: it is the last place i would check. >> right? right? >> seth: let's steal the computers. did you guys check the oven? [ laughter ] >> exactly. so that was the only draft. i finished it, 604 pages, my first novel, oh my god, right? i come back to the u.s., i was working as a traveling salesman, i was in a hotel in chicago, and it was not chicago's finest hotel, and someone broke in and
the book, 604 pages. >> seth: so it survived all the time in the chilean oven. [ laughter ] and was gone from a chicago hotel. >> right, correct. >> seth: you -- you mentioned you're a traveling salesman. i'm always fascinated by what writers are doing -- because one is giving you any money. you have to finish a book. so i'm always fascinated about what writers do to pass the time what were you selling as a traveling salesman? >> actually, again, i'm probably one of the last people to ever i was selling posters on college campuses. >> seth: you just set up your poster shop? >> i was a little more official than that. the company was started by four guys in the '70s. they would give me and my friend the biggest truck you can drive without a commercial license. fill it full of britney spears and bob marley posters. >> seth: wow. >> right? we went classy, had some starry night. some gustav klimt. >> seth: the guy, when he puts up he calls his buddy, and he's like, "hey, i'm bringing a girl home, put up starry night." [ laughter ] >> put up starry night. right, exactly. [ laughter ] mom's coming. put ansel adams up.
best-selling poster in your years of doing this? what flew off the poster desk? >> five girls in a shower. >> seth: five girls in a shower? >> soaping -- soaping each other? >> it was that and two girls kissing. >> seth: oh, my god. what you're saying about the american educational system is heart breaking. [ laughter ] >> can you believe it? [ laughter ] >> seth: but you got that done. >> yeah. >> seth: so you basically -- what you're saying is, for struggling writers out there, just load up a truck full of posters of ladies, and that will make it until you actually can write a book. >> well, there was a second part of that strategy. so i would sell posters for two months, and compress all my working time into that. and we would make about $10,000 -- it's not a king's ransom, but it's okay. but i couldn't live in the u.s. on that money. at the same time, i stumbled into traveling. so i -- at the time, my grandfather had a house in chile and said why don't you go stay at my house and i said, that's a great idea. >> seth: so that's how you ended up in chile. >> that's how i originally ended up in chile.
years of learning how to write and working on this book for two years and having to work on it again for another four years, i lived in seven different countries. >> seth: fantastic. >> i would sell posters and go to chile, sell posters, go to argentina. sell posters, and got to india. >> seth: you're living the dream. that life sounds a lot cooler than being an author. [ laughter ] i would go back to the poster and travel game. you had it figured out and you [ bleep ] it up by being a writer. [ laughter ] you had the dream. you were living the dream. >> here's the thing, seth. when your hair goes grey you can't break into college dorms any more. >> seth: that's true. that's true. you got out while the gettin' was good. thank you so much for being here. congratulations. >> my pleasure. >> seth: sunil yapa, everybody. "your heart is a muscle the size of a fist." is in bookstores now. we'll be right back.